U-M enrolls students, continues outreach
As U-M continues its efforts to contact previously enrolled students from the areas affected by Hurricane Katrina, it also has opened its doors to a number of students whose studies at other universities have been disrupted by the disaster.
As of Sept. 9, 51 undergraduate students had been admitted to the University and dozens more inquiries and applications for admission had been received and rapidly were being processed. Inquiries also have been received at the graduate level, with at least 15 students admitted so far into programs such as the Law School, College of Architecture + Urban Planning, College of Engineering, School of Public Health, and the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies.
The students are being admitted on a temporary basis as non-degree enrollees, with the expectation that they will return to their home universities. The universities from that region are concerned about their long-term survival and have asked that students who are pursuing studies at other institutions return after the crisis is over.
For Fall Term the University will provide a tuition grant that covers the full cost of assessed tuition and required fees for any non-degree student displaced by Hurricane Katrina. U-M students from hurricane-damaged areas can apply for additional financial aid, even though the standard application deadline has passed. U-M students with residency in the damaged areas of Louisiana, Alabama and Mississippi will receive packages that cover their full financial need.
The University has reached out to offer assistance to a number of universities in the affected region, including Tulane, Xavier of New Orleans, Dillard, Loyola, Southern and the University of New Orleans.
U-M-Flint, U-M-Dearborn, Eastern Michigan University and Washtenaw Community College also are working with the Ann Arbor campus to place students and offer access to the courses they need.
"I have been struck by the overwhelming generosity of our community," President Mary Sue Coleman says. "Everyone's first instinct has been to say, 'What can I do to help?'"
The University has been able to make on-campus housing available to many of these additional students through cancellations in the residence halls and open spaces in Northwood campus apartments. In addition, University Housing is working with the City of Ann Arbor to identify available off-campus spaces for displaced students and their families.
As of Record press time all but three of the 86 undergraduate and graduate students from the region affected by Katrina had been reached, says the Office of the Dean of Students.
"We are continuing our outreach to all these students to make sure they have the support they need, says Sue Eklund, dean of students. "We are also working closely with the newly admitted students to help them with the transition."
The University community also continues to respond in a number of ways to aid those affected by hurricane Katrina by contributing resources, expertise and support:
• The School of Music planned a benefit concert over the weekend to raise money for the American Red Cross, Second Harvest and National Humane Society. The Sept. 11 concert was to feature music from or about the Gulf Coast and New Orleans.
• Nearly $53,000 was raised to aid hurricane victims through fundraisers associated with the football team's Sept. 3 home opener against Northern Illinois University. Over the weekend student-athletes and members of the Michigan Student Assembly again were to collect for the Red Cross Disaster Relief fund before the U-M vs. Notre Dame football game.
• The Office of Development has set up a designated fund to aid U-M students affected by Katrina and displaced students temporarily studying at the University. The Office of Financial Aid will direct the funds to assist students with tuition, travel and emergency needs. The University United Way Campaign has made provisions for contributions to go to Katrina victims as well (see related story on resources for how to donate to both of these efforts).
• At least 300 U-M Health System employeesdoctors, nurses, pharmacists, psychiatrists, psychologists, and othershave responded to a message asking for volunteers willing to be deployed to the hurricane zone if needed. The Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT) that went to Mississippi from the region during the first week of the disaster included at least one U-M person, a Mott pharmacist. DMATs are pre-trained emergency teams that are ready to go at a moment's notice.
Where To Go For Help
Students needing financial assistance should contact Richard Davis in the Office of Financial Aid (OFA) at firstname.lastname@example.org or (734) 763-6600, or visit the OFA Web site, http://www.finaid.umich.edu.
For graduate and professional admissions, contact Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies Dean Janet Weiss at (734) 764-4401 or email@example.com.
University Housing may be able to provide some limited assistance for family members of affected students who need to locate housing in Ann Arbor. Contact the Office of Housing Information, 1011 Student Activities Building, (734)-763-3164.
Students and faculty at the School on Information have created a Web site, http://www.katrinahousing.net, that consolidates offers for housing assistance to people displaced by Katrina and sorts the information by state, region and municipality. Relief workers will be able to match displaced persons with communities that have enough spare rooms and the right services. Individuals may use the Web site to seek out their own housing. Communities also will be able to learn who else is offering housing so that volunteers can coordinate efforts internally.
The State of Michigan also has established an information service regarding emergency housing at (888) 535-6136.
The staff at Counseling and Psychological Services, http://www.umich.edu/~caps, is available for immediate crisis support for students. Visit 3100 Michigan Union or call (734) 764-8312.
Faculty and staff who need counseling and similar services can find help from the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program (FASAP): http://www.umich.edu/~fasap/. Employees of the U-M Health System will find such services through the U-M Health System Employee Assistance Program: http://www.med.umich.edu/mworks/eap.
Those seeking spiritual support are encouraged to contact the Association of Religious Counselors, http://www.umich.edu/~religion/index2.html.
U-M's Amateur Radio Club is offering to transmit messages from anyone wishing to find out about the condition of loved ones in the affected areas. Contact the club at firstname.lastname@example.org or http://www.umich.edu/~umarc.
The Office of the Provost is serving as a central point of contact for faculty and staff who wish to volunteer the use of resources such as housing, research facilities, etc. Contact Catherine Shaw at email@example.com (734) 763-0380.
The Center for Research on Learning and Teaching has created classroom discussion guidelines for instructors in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Go to: http://www.crlt.umich.edu/publinks/hurricaneguidelines.html.
How To Help
Make a donation: University facilitates Katrina relief donations
University facilitates Katrina relief donations
While the official start is a couple of weeks away, faculty and staff can pledge funds right now through the annual United Way campaignnot only to address ongoing local needs, but to designate contributions to assist Hurricane Katrina relief efforts. University employees can go online to http://www.uway.umich.edu and download the campaign pledge form.
The annual campaign generates more than $800,000 in contributions to help health and human service agencies address the needs of friends and neighbors throughout our community. Additionally, University staff can utilize the convenience of payroll deduction to make a contribution to support hurricane victims.
The United Way general fund and the agencies it supports already are pressed in meeting local concerns throughout the year. The present national emergency and likelihood of hurricane evacuees being relocated to our area will place an additional demand on the services provided. A donation to the United Way would ensure its ability to address broad, yet critical, needs. With the open designation option of the campaign, you also can lend your support to addressing the immediate crisis and its victims.
On the pledge form, first consider making a pledge to the United Way General Fund then, in the designated agencies section, write in "Katrina relief" and/or code number 360891, indicate the amounts pledged, sign the form and forward via campus mail to: United Way Campaign, 6080 Fleming, 1340. For questions, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Office of Development has set up a designated fund to aid U-M students affected by Katrina and displaced students temporarily studying at the University. Contributions to the Student Relief Fund/Katrina may be made to the U-M Office of Development, Attention: Vice President's Office, Wolverine Tower, 3003 S. State St., Ann Arbor, MI 48109-1288.
Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity (Epsilon Chapter) is accepting donations of money and clothing to be given to the local chapters of the American Red Cross and the Salvation Army. Contact the fraternity at email@example.com or http://www.umich.edu/~alphas.
Students, faculty and staff in the School of Social Work are holding a silent auction to raise relief funds. Items can be viewed in McGregor Commons through Sept. 19. To donate items, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Ginsberg Center for Community Service and Learning is working to organize groups of students to serve as volunteers in the hurricane recovery during Spring Break. Call (734) 647-7402.
Additional volunteer efforts are being organized within the schools and colleges, and academic units have identified some funding resources to support student volunteer efforts.
More Katrina coverage online
The Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, School of Public Health and College of Engineering co-sponsored a panel discussion "First Response to the Hurricane Katrina Disaster" Sept. 9 in the Michigan Union. Visit the University Record online at http://www.umich.edu/urecord today (Sept. 12) for complete coverage.